Monthly Archives: April 2009

Bouwmeester not ruling out return to Panthers

Midway through the 2008-09 season, it seemed as if Florida’s all-star defenseman and upcoming unrestricted free agent, Jay Bouwmeester, would leave the Panthers as soon as it was possible and not look back.  But as the lockers got cleaned out in Sunrise, Bouwmeester talked about keeping his options open.  Kinda.
Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under 2008-09 season, Offseason

Isles nab first overall selection in 2009 draft

Unlike the bad luck Flyers in 2007, the New York Islanders were the worst team in the NHL and justifiably received the first overall selection in the 2009 NHL entry draft.  The lottery selection went into action  Tuesday at Scotiabank place in Ottawa.

The Islanders were followed by the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Colorado Avalanche, for number two and three.  New York is expected to take hyped up forward John Tavares, but knowing Islanders’ General Manager Garth Snow,  trading down is always an option.  One team very interested in moving up to get Tavares is Toronto, which holds the seventh pick.

“We’ll immediately attempt to move up,” said Leafs’ General Manager Brian Burke. in published reports. “We’re going to talk to everyone between us and the first pick and see what the landscape is.”

The rumor is that anyone on the Leafs’ roster besides defenseman Luke Schenn is on the table.

“No player is untradeable,” said Burke. “Wayne Gretzky got traded.”

If Toronto can’t move up to grab Tavares, it is very possible they will go after forward Brayden Schenn, the scrappy little brother of Luke.  Brayden is considered a possible top-5 pick.

But no matter how the draft plays out, one thing is for sure — the Isles will be getting better.

A entire list is as follows…

1 New York Islanders
2 Tampa Bay Lightning
3 Colorado Avalanche
4 Atlanta Thrashers
5 Los Angeles Kings
6 Phoenix Coyotes
7 Toronto Maple Leafs
8 Dallas Stars
9 Ottawa Senators
10 Edmonton Oilers
11 Nashville Predators
12 Minnesota Wild
13 Buffalo Sabres
14 Florida Panthers

Leave a comment

Filed under Prospects, Stanley Cup Playoffs

Flyers – Penguins preview

In the past 22 games of the season, the Flyers and Penguins were headed in different directions.  The Flyers finished the season going 11-10-1 and Pittsburgh went 16-3-3.  But when the rivals  take the ice Wednesday in Pittsburgh for the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the contest should be oddly close.

Regular Season

Fifth seed: Philadelphia (Season series 2-2-2) – 44-27-11

Fourth seed: Pittsburgh (Season series 4-2-0) – 45-28-9

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Stanley Cup Playoffs

Post season schedule set

The bad part about facing the Penguins without home ice advantage is playing in hostile Pittsburgh to start the series.  The good side is that the Flyers get to play possibly two afternoon game at home on NBC.  The series begins on Saturday in Pittsburgh, with game three, Sunday, April 19 and game six, Saturday, April 25, in Philadelphia on NBC.  The rest of the games will be on VS.

Game 1 – Wednesday, April 15 @ Pittsburgh – 7:00 p.m.
Game 2 – Friday, April 17 @ Pittsburgh – 7:00 p.m.
Game 3 – Sunday, April 19 @ Philadelphia – 3:00 p.m.
Game 4 – Tuesday, April 21 @ Philadelphia – 7:00 p.m.
*Game 5 – Thursday, April 23 @ Pittsburgh – 7:00 p.m.
*Game 6 – Saturday, April 25 @ Philadelphia – 3:00 p.m.
*Game 7 – Monday, April 27 @ Pittsburgh – TBD

Leave a comment

Filed under Stanley Cup Playoffs

Flyers blow home ice, lose to Rangers 4-3

With the Flyers holding the 3-2 lead going into the final period, the visiting Rangers, with nothing to play for,  scored two unanswered third-period goals, to beat the Flyers, 4-3,  and drop them to the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference behind the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The loss gives the Penguins home-ice advantage for the first two games of the opening round of the playoffs against the Flyers, which will begin on Wednesday.

All the Flyers needed was one point to clinch the fourth spot, but were unable to hang on due to goals by Blair Betts and Sean Avery.  Philadelphia also gave up their first shorthanded goal of the season to Brandon Dubinsky, with 5:13 left in the first period.  They were attempting to be the first time in three decades to go an entire season without giving up a shorty.

Leave a comment

Filed under 2008-09 season, Stanley Cup Playoffs

Deja Vu: Flyers sign amateur Fritsch to replace Parent

In an identical move that brought amateur defenseman David Sloane to the Flyers for a 24-hour period on Thursday, as a result of another Ryan Parent groin injury, General Manager Paul Holmgren has signed University of New Hampshire defenseman Jamie Fritsch to a try out contract, meaning he can play for the Flyers with no cap hit for 24-hours.

At 6-foot-2, 200 lbs, 24-year old Fritsch is a physical, defensive defenseman and a native of Maryland.  Despite not scoring a lot of points, Fritsch is a plus-minus monster.  In 33 games last season, he was a +17 in 37 games, while only contributing 10 points.

With injuries to Riley Cote and Ryan Parent, the inability to Cote on the LTIR leaves the Flyers with both player’s salaries stuck on the books. The predicament maxes the cap space, but leaves the Flyers still needing a body on the blue line.  When the regular season ends, the salary cap becomes meaningless and the Flyers can bring up players anytime, with no penalty.

Leave a comment

Filed under 2008-09 season, Injuries, Prospects

Sbisa gets first goal as professional

One day after playing noticeably bad in his first game with the Phantoms, defenseman Luca Sbisa recovered big time, by scoring his first professional goal and adding an assist in the Phantoms’ 3-2 loss to the Hershey Bears, Saturday.

The slap shot goal from the slot cut the Bears’ lead to 2-1 in second period.  The Phantoms will take on Hershey in the first round of the post season.

Sbisa’s sluggish start back in Philadelphia could be due to fatigue.  The Swiss blue liner arrived 20-pounds less than when he left the city midway through the NHL season.  Sbisa was relied on heavily throughout the playoffs for the Hurricanes, at one time getting a gluttonous 41-minutes  on ice time in game seven of the opening round against Saskatoon.  That’s over two full periods.

The Flyers returned the rookie to Lethbridge of the WHL during the NHL season so they wouldn’t lose a year of his restricted free agent eligibility.

Sbisa will likely join the Flyers during the post seaso, as a seventh defender in case of emergencies.  However, there is a possibility General Manager Paul Holmgren leaves him with the Phantoms for their playoff run.

Leave a comment

Filed under Philadelphia Phantoms, Prospects

Flyers facing rival Pittsburgh in opening round

For most of March and all of April, it seemed as if the Flyers would be facing the Carolina Hurricanes in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The only variable being who would have home ice.  Well on the last game of the season for most teams in the Eastern Conference, Pittsburgh defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 3-1, to leap frog past the losing Hurricanes into the fifth spot,  directly into the warpath of the Flyers.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under 2008-09 season, Stanley Cup Playoffs

SanFilippo: Flyers very interested in BU’s Gilroy

A source close to to Flyers’ beat writer Anthony SanFilippo,  has told him that the Flyers are showing a lot of interest in Boston University’s highly coveted defenseman Matt Gilroy and have sent a scout to the national championship game between BU and Miami (OH) tonight.

Gilroy, 24-year old and undrafted because he was too small at the time, had a tremendous season with the Terriers, winning the Hobey Baker award, which is essentially the Heisman trophy of hockey.  As the captain, he led Hockey East in scoring from a defender with eight goals and had 28 assists in 44 games.

Gilroy is a 6-foot-2, 200 lbs. offensive defenseman, but is solid in his own end.  And because of his age, would be ready to jump right into the NHL, unlike most amateur blue liners.  According to SanFilippo, Gilroy’s camp has let the Flyers know that out of the many teams interested in his services, that Philadelphia is at the top of his list.

Born in New York,  Gilroy’s father Frank Gilroy, was drafted into the NBA by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1981.

1 Comment

Filed under Offseason, Prospects

Flyers hang on to home ice by a thread

With Philadelphia, Carolina and Pittsburgh all tied for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference with 97 points, it’s clear that with the end of the regular season just around the corner, the winner of home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs could very well come down to who wins today.

With two games remaining to Carolina and Pittsburgh’s one, the Flyers could avoid depending on a tiebreaker by winning out.  The tiebreaker consists of which team has more wins and that is something the Flyers want to avoid, since they will not win.

The Hurricanes have  45 wins to the Flyers’ 43, making today’s afternoon game against the New York Islanders, crucial to securing the fourth spot.  If the Flyers lose to the Islanders and Carolina wins against the New Jersey Devils, the Hurricanes will clinch fourth.  If the Penguins and Hurricanes both win and the Flyers lose, the Flyers, who will also have less wins than the Penguins, will sink to sixth in the conference, only able to tie both teams, but will lose the tiebreaker, even with a win in their final game against the New York Rangers.

However, it also works the other way.  If Carolina loses to the Devils and the Flyers defeat the Islanders, Philly will be in the driver’s seat in stealing the fourth spot with one game remaining to clinch the spot.

Leave a comment

Filed under 2008-09 season